David Price is one of the most interesting pitchers right now. Snooze! Okay, Random Italicized Voice, I’ll try not make this too boring. No, I thought I heard an alarm and was yelling for it to snooze. Oh, okay. So– Snooze! You’re not hearing an alarm! Maybe it’s your voice, Random High-Pitched Voice! Snooze! So, Price’s K/9 and BB/9 are at 10+ and sub-1. He should be a top five pitcher with those numbers. It’s not rocket surgery that if you’re striking out ten guys per nine innings and walking less than one guy good things will happen. This isn’t like when your mom says if you’re good to people, good things will happen back to you, cause I’m pretty sure any millionaire will tell you that’s a crock. The odd thing is not enough good things have happened to Price. See, Mom! Price’s ERA is at 3.93 on the year. That couldn’t be further from what is going on. Right now, he’s having the best season of his career from a strictly peripheral sense. This is all happening while his fastball velocity continues to fall. It doesn’t add up like Joan from Mad Men being married to that guy that looks like a young Jeff Goldblum only geekier. As each great start happens like yesterday’s — 8 IP, 3 ER, 5 baserunners, 10 Ks — it’s going to make it harder to buy Price low, but I would. Snooze! Ugh, I hate you. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
If this title doesn’t make any sense to you then you are probably not familiar with the New Zealand rap duo hiphopopotamus and rhymenoceros. Also known as the Flight of the Conchords, Jemaine and Bret throw it down hard like Roenis Elias did earlier this year against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium. In that contest he had a season high 10 K’s in 7 innings that made all fantasy baseballers take notice. I’m not blown away that he K’d 10 Yankees, half those guys collect social security checks and can remember the Kennedy presidency. But it does set a little precedence here. I’m always a little weary of the second time around after success the first time around but I’m going to give this one a pass. The first time was in New York, bonus point, and this time it’s in Seattle, double bonus point, which should lead to another great day. With a price tag of $8,600 I’m a buyer on my budget play today. This Cuban doesn’t have a cool nickname yet, so I’m going to name him after one of my favorite Cuban dishes: Papas Rellenas! Writers Note: This dish is popular across Latin American cuisine but the first time I had it was at a Cuban restaurant. Here is a recipe and picture for you.
Every week I tell you all to play DraftKings and I have no idea if anyone is listening. I’m starting to think I sound like my mother beating a dead horse day after day after day after day after day. You get the point. I would like to find a way to get some of us together in a big razzball bragging rights league. If you play and would like to join me and the other writers…oh and TV on the radio host Nick, then leave your DraftKings handle in the comments and we’ll try to organize some events. Don’t worry we have all been taking it in the shorts lately with Kevin Correia, Jaime Garcia and Shelby Miller taking the 1927 Blue Jays out to the woodshed. No mas stack attacks! And now back to our regularly scheduled program. Below are good value plays tomorrow. I’m not going to tell you to grab all studs because you can’t afford it. If you play this entire lineup you got $500 bucks to spare, but I’m not saying that unless you really trust me. You can swap Jones out for the Dread Pirate and now you got no change. Before I move on, I have one last thing for you. The PROMO LINK. Just click and play already!Please, blog, may I have some more?
My favorite move clubs make is the manager says so-and-so is the closer, but then use someone else and that other player becomes the closer. A close second is when they say so-and-so pitcher just didn’t have his best stuff, then roll him out there one more time, watch him get rocked and then say he has a broken elbow. But my third favorite club move is when they hold a rookie back for some arbitrary arbitration day. Everyone knows it’s arbitrary, but it’s done because clubs are cheap and want to hold the rights. Super Two, stupid two. Amiright? But there’s one move clubs do that you don’t see that often that might be crazier. Calling up a prospect — Oscar Taveras — right before his Super Two status changes. That’s crazy like a fox! Three weeks ago, Cards GM said, “I know a lot’s being made out of Oscar … coming to St. Louis, but right now I don’t even think it’s a logical thing to do.” I get that Fatt Adams just hit the DL, but wouldn’t you wait just a few more days at this point? Bizzonkers, but it’s the kind of crazy I can get behind because it brings with it one of the best — if not the best — prospect in the majors. Here’s what I’ve said previously about him, “From what I’ve heard (read), Taveras’s biggest strike against him is he doesn’t see any strikes — turn of a phrase point! He’s being compared to Vladimir Guerrero without having knees like Mama from Mama’s Family. Taveras swings and hits everything. Also, like Vlad, his swing is long, unwieldy and it looks like he could swing at pitches above his head and in the dirt on two consecutive pitches. (Google video of Oscar Taveras if you don’t believe me; what, you don’t believe me? My feelings are hurt.) What wasn’t mentioned, his stats also look like a young Vlad. I will call you, Vladimir Guerrerito. He can hit for power and steal bases. At twenty years old, he hit 23 homers in 477 ABs with 11 steals in Double-A in 2012, his last full year of minor league ball.” And that’s me quoting me! Later on in my Oscar Taveras article from November, I gave him this line 42/10/32/.288/8 for this year if he were to be called up in June. Still sounds about right. Basically, A.J. Pollock, but there’s a chance here for huge upside, so he’s ownable in every league. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I’ve been asked to take over for Dan Pants today. He must be on a bender or something. Or maybe he’s getting that vasectomy he’s been talking about. Anyways, it looks like there is a new rivalry in town. Tampa and Boston are quickly overthrowing the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry. Two fights in, two separate games in under two weeks. David Price hit David Ortiz in the first inning, and then Mike Carp a few innings later. Somehow Price wasn’t ejected, even though there were warnings issued after the first beaning. The Sox had four ejections: two managers, a coach, and Brandon Workman (who threw behind Evan Longoria after the first two HBPs). Still, the Sox managed to win 3-2 in 10 innings. If you own players on either team, be on the lookout for suspensions. Here’s what else happened throughout the league Friday evening:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The wait has been overbearing… The anticipation in the air… palpable. I almost typoed Palpatine. Which is what you loyal starting pitcher-aficionados probably think of me!
We had a start pushed back. We had me an unbelieving heathen. Then Memorial Day! Plus my near-descent into the inability to get out of bed when I watched Yordano Ventura‘s start the other day – saw him torched, velo fall, and taken out early. Now we get “valgus extension overload” which sounds like some sort of Eastern European sex move…
But alas! We’ve finally gotten here. A Pitcher Profile wholly dedicated to Dallas Keuchel, as he continues to rock-m sock-m robot opposing hitters. Did I just make that a verb? Yup! Add yet another complete game to his docket (very nearly three in a row), and he’s easily become the flashiest, out-of-nowhere add to legions of fantasy squads. But is he a guy to cut at the first sign of danger? To try and sell high? Let’s take a looksy at his start this past Sunday where he went the distance against the Mariners:Please, blog, may I have some more?
It’s about that time, prematurely balding men and four girl readers. Gregory Polanco is nearing his call-up date. He is basically a young version of Starling Marte. As of this writing, he’s 22 years old. I’m hoping he’s still 22 years old when I’m done writing this post otherwise I spent way too much time on it. He can be a superstar, which has me excited. He won’t be a superstar this year, which takes the wind out of my sails for redraft leagues. Usually when I’m talking about wind in my sails, I’m wearing only my boxers and just ate a can of beans, so maybe it’s best if we ignore how much wind is in my sails. Polanco can hit 12 homers and steal 40 bags without killing you in average. Yes, I know, you love him too now. It’s okay, just because your father never loved you doesn’t mean you can’t love another man. In Single-A, Polanco had 16 homers and 40 steals. In Single-A, Marte had 3 homers and 24 steals. Granted, Polanco had 200 extra at-bats in his Single-A year. Granted, Part II: Granted Lives; Polanco was two years younger in his Single-A year. Marte doesn’t have anywhere near the plate discipline of Polanco, so, if anything, Marte will become a poor man’s Polanco. Polanco has the kind of pedigree right now that could mean he’s a top three rounder and one day supplanting The Dread Pirate as the best outfielder in Pittsburgh. I.e., The Sexy Dish That Ate Pittsburgh. Yes, I’m really excited for him. This past year between the two levels, he hit 12 homers and 37 steals while hitting .286. Christian Yelich went from Double-A to the majors and hit fine. Lots of players do. The Pirates weren’t that aggressive. If they were, then Polanco would’ve shot up my preseason rankings and I would’ve told everyone to draft him in every single league. Instead, Polanco went to Triple-A and continued to bash like your 12-year-old self idealizing Jose Canseco. As with rookies, you need to keep expectations in check. To misquote the immortal words of John Popper, “Nobody should think or expect too much while everyone is calling for the movie rights. Singing, ‘Hey, babe, let’s keep in touch. Hey, baby, let’s keep in touch.” He will be up in early June and now is the time to stash him. For 2014, I’ll give him the line of 32/8/36/.250/15 in 300 ABs. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Over the off-season Rudy laid out his argument for why it’s important to maximize at-bats in fantasy leagues with daily moves (like the RCL ones). Even if the mathematical proof don’t resonate with you, there’s no denying the good vibes generated from streaming a hitter for a night and getting even just a 1-for-4 line with a run. Don’t know that feeling? Seriously, loosen up man. Do something crazy. Get black AND pinto beans on your next Chipotle burrito. Pay extra for guac. Add Mike Carp for a night. Just one.
The only downside to this strategy is time. The time it takes to sort through the options and decide who to add and who to drop. Razzball offers tools like Hitter-Tron and Stream-o-Nator to help speed up the process, but even then you have to scroll through its table to find who is available, make sure he will actually play, the game won’t be rained out, etc. For those of you with a wife, two kids, and a job, I get it. It’s tough being a loving father and winning fantasy manager.
I have no wife and zero kids so what I’m offering is to add meaning to my life and do some of that work for you. What I’ll do is scroll through Hitter-Tron, find the best players that are mostly unowned and likely to start, and present them here in an easily digestible format. My plan is to do this every Sunday and Wednesday so you can fill out your lineup on Mondays and Thursdays (the days when teams have off days and you’ll need to stream guys). Sound good? You’re not sure? Whatever, I’m not you trying to convince your girlfriend to try anal. It won’t hurt to do it once.Please, blog, may I have some more?
CC Sabathia is out until at least July. ESPN said, “The Yankees clearly want to save their ace for a late-season run, so will exercise caution, making sure to not rush a return.” Seriously, is ESPN purposely five years behind everyone else or do they try to anticipate what other people think and just feed off of that? Are they under the assumption that casual (read: lazy) fans think Sabathia is the Yankees ace, so they just go with that? Are they ignoring Tanaka? Are they afraid of upsetting Yankee fans? Do they think Yankee fans are stupid? I have questions, y’all! Sabathia hasn’t been an ace in two years and I see no return to that any time soon. Even if he loses another 75 pounds and grows back his belly, only now it’s from being malnourished, and he shows up at the ballpark with flies buzzing around his head. Chase Whitley will remain in the rotation now and he had a 10+ K/9, 2.4 BB/9 in Triple-A, but he wasn’t even a starter prior to this year and the Yanks are throwing crap against their dresser hoping it forms a pretty, flower-doily design. I wouldn’t mess with him outside of AL-Only leagues. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The date was 1 B.O. — that’s one year Before Okrent — and the Fantasy Baseball Overlord rose from the Fantasy Baseball Overlord’s Mom’s Basement and said, “Fantasy baseball lovers, I will grant you one wish.” One Fantasy Baseballer swooped his wisp of hair over his balding spot, in case he ran into any girls, and stepped forward, “I wish that all players would be healthy.” The Fantasy Baseball Overlord scratched under his armpit, thinking. “Fine, prematurely balding man, I will grant you your wish. May all players be healthy. Just not all at the same time or while on your team.” And with that the FBO descended back into its mom’s basement, since it was almost snack time. As the Overlord descended the stairs, the prematurely balding man yelled, “Wait, I didn’t agree to that!” But it was too late, and now Jose Abreu‘s landed on the DL too. Can’t we have anything nice?! Please return to us, The Grande Dolor! Wait a second, where was Frank Thomas this weekend? Frank Thomas did a Snapchat with the Fantasy Baseball Overlord, didn’t he? Answer me true, universe. The White Sox are saying Abreu will be fine to return after the minimum 15 days, and I say, *long sigh* hopefully. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Earlier this week, I played guarantee fairy by marking guys likely to rebound or drop-off based on their BABIP differentials (actual vs. expected). Justin Morneau was a red flag because his expected BABIP is 34+ points lower than his actual BABIP, however this is the case for other Rockies, Brandon Barnes and Troy Tulowitzki even more-so. Charlie Blackmon and Nolan Arenado are just behind Morneau as well. What I’m saying is that it’s a generalizable (Colorado) effect, and isn’t too much of a concern in Morneau’s case. The lineup stack probably exacerbates the effect as well.
On the other hand, while Prince Fielder is likely to rebound based on expected BABIP, the ground ball increase and hitting into the defensive shift is really hurting him, meaning I think his issues will somewhat sustain all year.
For this post (using this same matrix), let’s look at some MLB catchers and corner infielders to replace Matt Wieters and Brandon Belt long-term, and who should rebound at least from an expected BABIP perspective (<10% ownership on ESPN as of 5/12). Here is how I have them ranked:Please, blog, may I have some more?